The Tales of Tuan…

On The Music Box: Pink Floyd/Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

(Jim Fitzpatrick- Fathach)


A short one… Taxes!

Oh, I loathe this type of stuff.

Have a good Tuesday,



on The Menu:

The Links

The Articles: 2 Versions of the Tale of Tuan

Poetry: Zone/The Golden Rain

& Ancient Cornish Poetry

All Paintings: Jim Fitzpatrick


The Links:


David Sylvian – Orpheus

Poor Man’s Air Force


One of the Founding Stories of Irish Myth… The Tale of Tuan: Two Versions…

(Dolmen – Jim Fitzpatrick)

Tuan Mac Carill was one of 2 elders who knew the History of Ireland. He had come to Ireland under the leader, Partholon. All in this party were taken ill.

Tuan alone survived.

When the elders met at Tara to write a history of the land, it was up to Tuan to tell them of their past and elder Trefuilngid Tre-Eochair to verify his story…

I am Tuan

I am legend

I am memory turned myth.

I am the story teller. Warriors and young boys creep away from the hearths of wine halls to hear me. Greedy for tales of honor and history they watch my lips with bright eyes, for I give them what is more precious than gold; treasure unlocked from my heart.

My words burn like flame in the darkness. I speak and hearts beat high, swords warm to the hand; under my spell boys become men.

But I know both the pain as well as the brightness of fire. I am the story teller who cannot find rest. The peace of death will never be mine. I am condemned to watch and to speak; my hand reaches in vain for the warrior’s sword.

Once I, Tuan, was a man, the chieftain of a great race, the Cesair. My warriors sat on wolf skins; they raised golden goblets to me brimming with wine. Neither evil nor harm dared cross the threshold where I sat, my throne studded with jewels, inlaid with ivory.

But the gods envy the happiness of men; flood and sword combined to destroy my people. Now the wine hall stood empty, ruined; doorway and roof gaped wide to receive the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air. It was ordained that I alone should be saved to bear witness to my peoples fate. I watched helpless while the fair land of Èireann was ravaged by the scavengers and foes. The golden cities I once loved lay fathoms deep beneath gray seas.

For many years I wandered as a man seeking shelter in caves and the depths of the forest; but when at last the noble race of Nemed came to reclaim their homeland I was barred from greeting them as either chieftain or warrior. Another fate was mine; to watch unseen, keeping the secrets of time close in heart and brain. The gods had singled me out for a strange fate, unfamiliar pains and pleasures, for as the years passed, they bound me within the bodies of beast and bird so that I might watch and keep the history of Èireann unnoticed by men.

The first transformation came upon me unaware. I had grown old as a man. The years had left my body naked and weak; my joints ached and my hair fell gray and matted over my bowed shoulders. One day a great weariness came upon me. I sought shelter in my cave certain that death had claimed me. For many days and nights I slept. Then at last I awoke to the sun. My limbs felt strong and free. My heart leapt up within me for I had been reborn as Tuan, the great-horned stag, King of the deer-herds of Èireann. The green hills were mine, the valleys and the streams.

As I ran free across the heather covered plains, the children of Nemed were driven from their homeland. Only I remained, grown old as a stag, their story locked in my heart. Then the great heaviness of change again weighed me down; again I sought shelter in my cave. Wolves eager for my blood and sinewy flesh howled to the moon. But I slept, floating loose in dream-time. Through the heaviness of sleep I felt myself grow young again. When the low rays of sunrise touched me I awoke.

The wolves still sniffed about the entrance to my cave. But now I was young and strong; fit to face them. I, Tuan, with joyful heart, thrust my sharp tusks out of my lair and the wolves fled yelping like frightened dogs. I was fresh, lusty with life; I had been born again, a black boar bristling with power, thirsty for blood. Now I was a king of herds; my back was sharp with dark bristles; my teeth and tusks were ready to cut and kill. All creatures feared me.

But while I had lain locked in dreams a new race of men had come to disturb the silence of mountain and valley. The were the Fir Bolg and they belonged to the family of Nemed. These I did not chase and when they chased me I fled, for their blood was mine also. The Fir Bolg divided the island into five provinces and proclaimed the title Ard-RÌ, that is High King, for the first time in Èireann.

As I roamed the purple hills I would often leave my herd and gaze across to the High King’s hall and remember with sadness the time when I also had sat in council, with warriors at my feet, and felt the bright eyes of women gaze upon me.

Once again the ache of change drove me back to my lonely cave in Ulster. After three days fasting, another death floated me beyond dream-time. Nights circled from summer into winter until one morning I woke and soared high into the clear sky.

I was reborn

I was lord of the heavens

I was Tuan the great sea-eagle.

I, who had been king among the heather and scented woodlands, became lord of the heavens. From the highest mountain I could see the field-mouse gathering wheat husks, nothing escaped my sharp eye.

Motionless, feathering the air, riding the wind, I watched the children of Nemed return to Èireann. Now know as the Tuatha DÈ Danann they sailed down over the mountains in a magic fleet of sky riding ships until they came to rest among the Red Hills of Rein led by Nuada, their king.

Rather than fight their own flesh and blood the Tuatha DÈ offered to share the island with the tribes of the Fir Bolg but on the advice of his elders Eochai, their High King, refused and the battle lines were drawn up.

I, Tuan the eagle, watched that fratricidal struggle; that terrible slaughter of kinsmen known as the First Battle of Moy Tura. I saw the same green plain across which I had, as a stag and boar, led my herd, drenched in blood. There I saw for the last time the Fir Bolg in their fullness and their pride, in their beauty and their youth, ranged against the glittering armies of the Tuatha DÈ Danann. The battle was fierce and ebbed and flowed like waves on a sea of fortune and price.

The circles of my eyes were rimmed with bitter tears as I watched that dreadful carnage of kinsmen, for all who fought were bound by a common bond, the blood of Nemed the Great. The battle raged for many days; death cut down the flower of the youth on both sides.

At last the Tuatha DÈ Danann took the sovereignty of Èireann from the Fir Bolg and their allies. But in that First Battle of Moy Tura, Nuada, King of the DÈ Dananns, had his arm struck off and from that loss there came sorrow and trouble to his people, for it was a law with the Tuatha DÈ Danann that no man imperfect in form could be king. So it happened that Nuada who had led his people to victory had to abdicate his throne and hand the royal crown over to the elders of his race.

I, Tuan, the sea-eagle, wept secretly with Nuada over the loss of his crown, for he was a noble king and a just ruler who had won back the land of Èireann for his people. His mutilation and his loss were the result of his bravery in battle. For he was a great warrior, skilled and courageous and as one with his god, the Sun.

When the noise of battle and the wailing of women had faded into silence, when the earth had soaked up the blood, when the plain of Moy Tura had become a sad spirit-haunted place marked by pillars and cairns, I, Tuan, still sailed high above it. I knew that that same force of history that governed the fortunes of men had made me the winged bearer of myth. I knew that the pattern of change is never completed until the world’s end. Still I would have to bear the burden of man’s triumph and grief.

I am Tuan

I am Legend

I am memory turned myth.

I have lived through the ages

In the shape of man, beast and bird

Mute witness to great events,

Guardian of past deeds.


The Story of Tuan mac Carill

1. After Finnen of Moville had come with the Gospel to Ireland, into the territory of the men of Ulster, he went to a wealthy warrior there, who would not let them come to him into the stronghold, but left them fasting there over Sunday. The warrior’s faith was not good. Said Finnen to his followers: ‘There will come to you a good man, who will comfort you, and who will tell you the history of Ireland from the time that it was first colonised until to-day.’

2. Then on the morrow early in the morning there came to them a venerable cleric, who bade them welcome. ‘Come with me to my hermitage,’ said he, ‘that is meeter for you.’ They went with him, and they perform the duties of the Lord’s day, both with psalms and preaching and offering. Thereupon Finnen asked him to tell his name. Said he to them: ‘Of the men of Ulster am I. Tuan, son of Cairell, son of Muredach Red-neck, am I. I have taken this hermitage, in which thou art, upon the hereditary land of my father. Tuan, son of Starn, son of Sera, son of Partholon’s brother, that was my name of yore at first.’

3. Then Finnen asked him about the events of Ireland, to wit, what had happened in it from the time of Partholon, son of Sera. And Finnen said they would not eat with him until he had told them the stories of Ireland. Said Tuan to Finnen: ‘It is hard for us not to meditate upon the Word of God which thou hast just told to us.’ But Finnen said: ‘Permission is granted thee to tell thy own adventures and the story of Ireland to us now.

4. ‘Five times, verily,’ said he, ‘Ireland was taken after the Flood, and it was not taken after the Flood until 312 years had gone. Then Partholon, son of Sera, took it. He had gone upon a voyage with twenty-four couples. The cunning of each of them against the other was not great. They settled in Ireland until there were 5000 of their race. Between two Sundays a mortality came upon them, so that all died, save one man only. For a slaughter is not usual without some one to come out of it to tell the tale. That man am I,’ said he.

5. ‘Then I was from hill to hill, and from cliff to cliff, guarding myself from wolves, for twenty-two years, during which Ireland was empty. At last old age came upon me, and I was on cliffs and in wastes, and was unable to move about, and I had special eaves for myself. Then Nemed, son of Agnoman, my father’s brother, invaded Ireland, and I saw them from the cliffs and kept avoiding them, and I hairy, clawed, withered, grey, naked, wretched, miserable. Then, as I was asleep one night, I saw myself passing into the shape of a stag. In that shape I was, and I young and glad of heart. It was then I spoke these words:

Strengthless to-day’ is Senba’s son,

From vigour he has been parted,

Not under fair fame with new strength,

Senba’s son is an old .

These men that come from the east

With their spears that achieve valour,

I have no strength in foot or hand

To go to avoid them.

Starin, fierce is the man,

I dread Scemel of the white shield,

Andind will not save me, though good and fair,

If it were Beoin, …

Though Beothach would leave me alive,

Cacher’s rough fight is rough,

Britan achieves valour with his spears,

There is a fit of fury on Fergus.

They are coming towards me, 0 gentle Lord,

The offspring of Nemed, Agnoman’s son,

Stoutly they are lying in wait for my blood,

To compass my first wounding.

Then there grew upon my head

Two antlers with three score points,

So that I am rough and grey in shape

After my age has changed from feebleness.

7. ‘After this, from the time that I was in the shape of a stag, I was the leader of the herds of Ireland, and wherever I went there was a large herd of stags about me. In that way I spent my life during the time of Nemed and his offspring. When Nemed came with his fleet to Ireland, their number was thirty-four barques, thirty in each barque, and the sea cast them astray for the time of a year and a half on the Caspian Sea, and they were drowned and died of hunger and thirst, except four couples only together with Nemed. Thereafter his race increased and had issue until there were 4030 couples. However, these all died.

8. ‘Then at last old age came upon me, and I fled from men and wolves. Once as I was in front of my cave — I still remember it – I knew that I was passing from one shape into another. Then I passed into the shape of a wild boar. ‘Tis then I said:

A boar am I to-day among herds,

A mighty lord I am with great triumphs,

He has put me in wonderful grief,

The King of all, in many shapes.

In the morning when I was at Dun Bré,

Fighting against old seniors

Fair was my troop across the pooi,

A beautiful host was following us.

My troop, they were swift

Among hosts in revenge,

They would throw my spears alternately

On the warriors of Fál on every side.

When we were in our gathering

Deciding the judgments of Partholon,

Sweet to all was what I said,

Those were the words of true approach.

Sweet was my brilliant judgment

Among the women with beauty,

Stately was my fair chariot,

Sweet was my song across a dark road.

Swift was my step without straying

In battles at the onset,

Fair was my face, there was a day,

Though to-day I am a boar.

9. ‘In that shape, he said, I was then truly, and I young and glad of mind. And I was king of the boar-herds of Ireland, and I still went the round of my abode when I used to come into this land of Ulster at the time of my old age and wretchedness; for in the same place I changed into all these shapes. Therefore I always visited that place to await the renewal.

10. ‘Thereupon Semion, the son of Stariath, seized this island. From them are the Fir Dornnann, and the Fir Bolg, and the Galiuin; and these inhabited this island for the time that they dwelt in Ireland. Then old age came upon me, and my mind was sad, and I was unable to do all that I used to do before, but was alone in dark caves and in hidden cliffs.

11. ‘Then I went to my own dwelling always. I remembered every shape in which I had been before. I fasted my three days as I had always done. I had no strength left. Thereupon I went into the shape of a large hawk. Then my mind was again happy. I was able to do anything. I was eager and lusty. I would fly across Ireland; I would find out everything. ‘Tis then I said:

A hawk to-day, a boar yesterday,

Wonderful . . . inconstancy!

Dearer to me every day

God, the friend who has shapen me.

Many are the offspring of Nemed

Without obedience . . . to the certain King,

Few to-day are the race of Sera;

I know not what caused it.

Among herds of boars I was,

Though to-day I am among bird-flocks;

I know what will come of it:

I shall still be in another shape.

Wonderfully has dear God disposed

Me and the children of Nemed;

They at the will of the demon of God,

While, for me, God is my help.

12. ‘Beothach, the son of Iarbonel the prophet, seized this island from the races that dwelt in it. From them are the Tuatha Dé and Andé, whose origin the learned do not know, but that it seems likely to them that they came from heaven, on account of their intelligence and for the excellence of their knowledge.

13. ‘Then I was for a long time in the shape of that hawk, so that I outlived all those races who had invaded Ireland. However, the sons of Mu took this island by force from the Tuatha Dé Danann. Then I was in the shape of that hawk in which I had been, and was in the hollow of a tree on a river.

14. ‘There I fasted for three days and three nights, when sleep fell upon me, and I passed into the shape of a river-salmon there and then. Then God put me into the river so that I was in it. Once more I felt happy and was vigorous and well-fed, and my swimming was good, and I used to escape from every danger and from every snare — to wit, from the hands of fishermen, and from the claws of hawks, and from fishing spears — so that the scars which each one of them left are still on me.

15. ‘Once, however, when God, my help, deemed it time, and when the beasts were pursuing me, and every fisherman in every pool knew me, the fisherman of Cairell, the king of that land, caught me and took me with him to Cairell’s wife, who had a desire for fish. Indeed I remember it; the man put me on a gridiron and roasted me. And the queen desired me and ate me by herself, so that I was in her womb. Again, I remember the time that I was in her womb, and what each one said to her in the house, and what was done in Ireland during that time. I also remember when speech came to me, as it comes to any man, and I knew all that was being done in Ireland, and I was a seer; and a name was given to me — to wit, Tuan, son of Cairell. Thereupon Patrick came with the faith to Ireland. Then I was of great age; and I was baptized, and alone believed in the King of all things with his elements.’

16. Thereupon they celebrate mass and go into their refectory, Finnen with his followers and Tuan, after he had told them these stories. And there they stay a week conversing together. Every history and every pedigree that is in Ireland, ‘tis from Tuan, son of Cairell, the origin of that history is. He had conversed with Patrick before them, and had told him; and he had conversed with Colum Cille, and had prophesied to him in the presence of the people of the land. And Finnen offered him that he should stay with him, but he could not obtain it from him. ‘Thy house will be famous till doom,’ said Tuan.


Golden Rain by Zone

Stop! Stop This Instant.

Falling like a magnet,

Shedding each colour one by one.

Tilting my head forward with the grace that allows The Golden rain to

saturate this cleansed and transparent body,

Gradually synchronising with the lines of such a delicate and intricate pattern.

i have no being,

This Beautiful Machine Is All Being.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

Look! Look This Instant.

As time repeats every second,

So concrete are these structures that stand before my eyes,

Interwoven with the very fabric of my flesh.

Oh Mother, Oh Father, how I have mistaken Your intentions,

And what energy i have wasted.

But nothing is ever wasted,

For the appropriate action at each moment is known by encompassing the

experience of the past as One is moved, by Your Love,

to embrace the knowledge for the future.

i have no vision,

This Beautiful Machine Is All Vision.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

Listen! Listen This Instant.

Eternally humming The Tune that i know so well,

These immutable Laws that bind me to Freedom.

Freedom from all wastage,

Freedom to recognise Your Face at every moment, and in every location.

With such sensitivity these veils whisper their purpose,

And with mathematical precision i suddenly remember that I am a wheel turning

within a Giant Labyrinth of infinitely fine detail,

All for the purpose of echoing Your Tune.

i have no words,

This Beautiful Machine Speaks The Only Word.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

And in scarecrow fields of thunder,

Watch the face of God pass by on the wind,

A herd of horses galloping,

Swirling in the clouds of a summer storm,

Their shimmering beauty caught

On rainbow shafts of light


Ancient Cornish Poems (2)

The Pool of Pilate

Guel yv thy’mmo vy may fe

mos the wolhy ow dule

a Thesempes

me a vyn omma yn dour

may fons y guyn ha glan lour

a vestethes


Ellas pan fema gynys

ancow sur yw dynythys

Scon thy’mmo vy

ny’m bus bywe ma fella

an dour re wruk thy’m henna

yn pur deffry.

The Pool of Pilate

It is best to me that it be so

Go to wash my hands


I will, here in the water,

That they may be white, and clean enough

From dirt.

[He washes his hands in the water and dies


Alas that I was born!

Death surely is come

Soon to me.

Life is no longer for me,

The water has done that to me

Very clearly.


Merlin the Diviner

Merlin! Merlin! where art thou going

So early in the day, with thy black dog?

Oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi!

Oi! oi! oi! ioi! oi!

I have come here to search the way,

To find the red egg;

The red egg of the marine serpent,

By the sea-side in the hollow of the stone.

I am going to seek in the valley

The green water-cress, and the golden grass,

And the top branch of the oak,

In the wood by the side of the fountain.

Merlin! Merlin! retrace your steps;

Leave the branch on the oak,

And the green water-cress in the valley,

As well as the golden grass;

And leave the red egg of the marine serpent,

In the foam by the hollow of the stone.

Merlin! Merlin! retrace thy steps,

There is no diviner but God.


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